U.S. Obesity Trends, 1985-2007

Information from the CDC by Judy Learn

Obesity is a public health crisis in the U.S., as Americans become more and more overweight. This trend is also occurring in countries around the world, including transitioning countries such as China, where young people have enough money to eat the higher fat, higher calorie Western diet, and who have jobs that keep them sedentary in offices, often in front of a computer for long hours at a time. More money also means at home you can spend additional hours on the computer, contacting friends, playing computer games, etc. Human bodies were designed to work hard, build muscle mass and use lots of calories. When we use calories in daily activities that are equal to the amount of calories we eat as food, our weight is stable. When our caloric intake is higher than the rate at which our lifestyle uses calories, then we will gain weight.

With weight gain comes a host of health problems: high blood pressure, greater risks for elevated serum cholesterol and therefore risks for atherosclerosis and heart disease, and Type 2 diabetes, the major metabolic disorder of humanity. Alarmingly, pediatricians are seeing children and teens in their offices who have Type 2 diabetes. This was once called "adult-onset" diabetes, and was thought to be a disease of late middle age or the elderly. No more. Obese, inactive children are at elevated risks for this disease just as much as an older, overweight and sendentary 60 year old!

By compiling population data on the increasing level of obesity the CDC was able to create a striking visual series of maps. You can literally view the American map become "fatter" with each passing year. We've all heard that America is becoming fatter, but this series of maps drives that message home in a way that mere description can't do. Click on the link to view not only this series of maps, but to view some data about the "state of overweight" in our nation. CDC MAPS and TABLES.

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